I am from Germany and my boyfriend is an American. We want to experience living with each other before committing to marriage. Can I visit on a visa waiver then adjust status if we decide to get married?
Yes, however it is not technically the correct way to do it. This might be viewed by the USCIS as a fraudulent use of the visa waiver or your tourist visa, so when they find this out of course when you apply your adjustment status it could, it might result to getting denied, yeah.
Right, people do this all the time and they’re almost always successful. So, it’s a little bit of a tricky question to answer simply because if you ask the CIS, you say, “Hey, it’s my intent to immigrate.” They’re gonna say, “Well, then use the proper visa.” Which is a K-1 fiance visa or you get married first and do a CR1. That’s the correct visa, but the reality is we are every day doing petitions for people who came on a tourist visa, student visa, some other visa, got married and did adjustment status. It happens all of the time. It’s not the officially correct way that it’s supposed to be done since your intent is already to immigrate. In other words let me say it this way. If you have no intent to immigrate, you came here on your visa waiver. Visa waiver, by the way, is for people who don’t need a tourist visa, come from the 33 or so countries that we have that agreement with. If you just come over here to sight see on your visa and you met somebody, you fell in love and got married, that is completely allowed. It happens all the time. But if you’re standing in Portugal or whatever and you’re saying, “Hey, I’m gonna use my visa waiver “privilege to come and then get married.” Again, if you’re, it’s about intent. The visa waiver, your intent is supposed to be to be a tourist or come for a conference or something. If you’re intending to immigrate, following everything exactly as is intended they would say you should use an immigrant-type visa or K-1 fiance visa, not the visa waiver status. But having said that, people do it all the time. We see it all the time. Nearly every day we’re doing one of those and they rarely have any trouble, so there you go.
A lot of our customers, they are generally able to adjust status successfully because they are able to prove that they don’t have a preconceived intention to get married and adjust status, so they have actually an honest intent when they apply or they come in as a tourist, to live as a tourist. So yeah, but it is very difficult but it’s not impossible.
We’re in perilous times right now with the current administration in that there have been admitted, this is not a secret, the administration has basically said that the intent is to be more strict on legal immigration. So, it’s not just people trying to enter illegally or through asylum or something like that. There also have been some successful attempts to slow down even legal immigration. So, in our opinion you want to do everything as absolutely perfect as you can. If that’s not necessary we’re not saying, or if that’s not possible we don’t want to discourage people from trying but you want to, these days especially, do everything absolutely as perfect as possible. No case is perfect.